Like any other part of your home, your chimney needs care every once in a while. Many homeowners don’t give their chimney much thought. They just allow it to deteriorate and accumulate dirt. But eventually this kind of neglect can prove to be a serious health hazard. Your chimney can get damaged in a variety of ways – one of the more common ways being cracks in the chimney. But you should also have your chimney checked for water damage. As water damage can be very harmful to your chimney.
How Can Water Damage Your Chimney?
If your chimney isn’t properly waterproofed, it won’t be safe to use. Water damage can cause a lot of problems with your chimney. That’s because large parts of your chimney are made from materials like steel, which will rust if it’s exposed to water.
If you never have your chimney inspected, now would be a great time to get in touch with a local chimney sweep service. Professional chimney sweeps will be able to check for any water damage in your chimney. If there’s damage, it’s always best to locate the source of the problem and have it fixed. Once you’ve fixed the source of the problem, you can have your chimney fixed without having to worry about your fixed chimney getting damaged again by the same source of water damage.
Water damage to your chimney can cause your damper to rust, as well as potentially causing problems with water penetration in your walls. If that’s the case, you might even see mold grow on your walls near the fireplace, and the wallpaper of paint might lift because of the dampness in the wall.
Mold in your house is terrible for your health, so it’s always best to have any problems fixed that can cause your walls to rot.
Mold and Your Health
Mold is primarily linked to respiratory problems. So if you or one of your loved ones suffer from asthma, or if you tend to have other problems, like coughs, wheezing or a stuffy nose, mold is a likely culprit in your home.
For people who are more allergic to it, mold can also cause skin problems like rashes. Needless to say, the health problems associated with mold in your home is no fun.
To prevent mold from growing in your home, you should have any leaks – like roof leaks or broken pipes fixed as soon as possible. If your chimney is the problem, then you’ll be able to fix the problem by calling a chimney sweep and having your chimney fixed.
It’s important that you have any leaks fixed as soon as possible, as leaving them could cause your walls to get soaked, leading to more water damage than if you had the problem fixed soon after it was discovered. Once you walls, chimney and roof have water damage, the wet parts (or the badly rusted bits) will all have to be replaced. You can’t leave any area of your walls wet and hope that it will dry out, as you’re leaving a potential breeding ground for more mold to grow. And once the mold starts to grow again, it can be very difficult to control.
Things you can do to prevent mold from growing in your home include:
- Keeping humidity levels low.
- Thoroughly drying out any areas, like carpets, after they got wet.
- Properly ventilating areas that are often humid, like the shower and the area above the stove or kettle in your kitchen.
The health problems associated with mold might seem insignificant to you, but mold-related allergies shouldn’t be taken lightly. Your respiratory system is a vital part of your health, and chronic exposure to mold can take its toll on your health.
Apart from this, your house is likely to smell damp and unpleasant if you leave water damaged areas without fixing them promptly.
Staying Safe Next Winter
Let’s face it, you don’t want to think about winter yet. It feels like things are only just starting to heat up, so why worry about the winter? There’s still a lot of time before then.
Fact is, springtime is great for getting your chimney inspected before winter this year. That’s because it’s the ideal season to do all kinds of outdoor maintenance tasks. The temperature isn’t too extreme, which often helps for certain parts of the maintenance work.
Getting your chimney inspected in spring also allows a lot of time before winter, so if there are still problems after your chimney is fixed, there will be time to get your chimney ready before winter.
Remember to use a chimney cap to avoid water damage through your chimney. Chimney caps are also great for preventing birds from making nests in your chimney. This is very important because the nests can actually catch fire whenever you use your chimney, and this can lead to a chimney fire.
Apart from this, you should have your chimney inspected annually to see that it’s still ready for each coming winter. Chimney inspections from professional sweeps aren’t cheap, but your chimney has a very important role to play in keeping your house safe. Without the proper care, it’s better to refrain from using your chimney, as you can never be too safe when working with any area in your house that uses fire.